lord howe island australia

Nestled in the Tasman Sea, Lord Howe Island emerges as a crescent-shaped paradise, a mere two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane.

This exquisite island, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts an unrivaled blend of breathtaking landscapes, rich biodiversity, and an untouched, serene environment.

Lord Howe Island’s allure lies not just in its dramatic volcanic peaks, lush forests, and pristine beaches but also in its commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism.

With a cap on visitor numbers to preserve its unique ecosystem, Lord Howe Island offers an exclusive escape unlike any other.

Its remarkable natural beauty, from the world’s southernmost coral reef to the rare collection of flora and fauna, creates a haven for nature lovers, adventurers, and anyone seeking tranquility away from the bustling world.

Why is Lord Howe Island a must-visit destination?

Its unparalleled beauty and tranquility offer an escape to a world where nature reigns supreme.

Here, you can immerse yourself in activities ranging from hiking Mount Gower, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, to simply relaxing on white sandy beaches.

Lord Howe Island promises a unique, serene, and breathtaking experience, making it an essential destination for discerning travelers in search of genuine connection with nature’s wonders.

Getting to Lord Howe Island

lord howe island fishing

Nestled in the Tasman Sea, Lord Howe Island represents an untouched paradise, accessible yet preserved, a mere two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane.

This secluded island, with its rugged volcanic peaks rising above the Pacific’s azure waters, invites a fortunate few to its shores.

The journey to Lord Howe Island is part of its allure, offering an exclusive gateway to one of the world’s most pristine natural environments.

Flights to Lord Howe Island

Reaching Lord Howe Island is a straightforward affair for travelers, with direct flights available from Sydney and Brisbane.

These flights, operated by QantasLink, bridge the gap between the bustling cities and the tranquil island, making it an accessible retreat for those in search of tranquility and natural beauty.

For visitors coming from other parts of Australia or internationally, connecting flights to Sydney or Brisbane are your ticket to this secluded paradise.

It’s essential to plan your trip well in advance, as Lord Howe Island limits its visitor numbers to protect its unique ecosystem and maintain the tranquility that defines it.

Only 400 guests can grace the island at any one time, ensuring that your experience is as exclusive as it is unforgettable.

This cap on visitors is a testament to the island’s commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism, offering a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in an environment that has been carefully shielded from the pressures of the outside world.

Booking Your Trip

When planning your visit to Lord Howe Island, consider the limited flight availability and the island’s unique visitor cap.

Booking flights and accommodation early is crucial, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot in this unparalleled destination.

The exclusivity and limited access underscore the island’s allure, promising an intimate encounter with nature’s marvels, far removed from the crowds and clamor of more accessible tourist spots.

Arrival and Beyond

Upon landing on Lord Howe Island, you step into a world where the concerns of daily life dissolve, replaced by the serene beauty of sand, sea, and sky.

The island’s small airport warmly welcomes travelers, setting the stage for an adventure in a locale where bicycles replace cars and the pace of life gently slows.

Transportation on the island is a reflection of its commitment to preservation and simplicity. Rental bicycles, along with a limited number of cars, offer the primary means of exploring.

For many, the preferred mode of travel is on foot, following trails that wind through lush forests, along rugged clifftops, and onto the soft sands of pristine beaches.

In embracing Lord Howe Island, you are invited to not just visit but to connect with a place that embodies the rarest qualities of natural beauty and serenity.

The journey here is not merely a trip but a pilgrimage to one of the last bastions of unspoiled wilderness, a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Best Time to Visit Lord Howe Island

lord howe island in australia

Lord Howe Island, a jewel in the crown of the Pacific, offers a temperate climate that graces the island with mild weather year-round, making it a splendid destination for visitors in any season.

Understanding the island’s climate and seasonal variations can help travelers pick the ideal time to immerse themselves in its natural splendor and participate in the myriad of activities it has to offer.

Climate and Seasonal Variations

The climate of Lord Howe Island is maritime subtropical, characterized by mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and refreshing sea breezes.

Summers (December to February) are warm but not excessively hot, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Winters (June to August) are mild and gentle, with temperatures usually hovering between 14°C and 19°C (57°F to 66°F).

Rainfall is distributed throughout the year, nourishing the island’s lush landscapes, but it’s usually quick and followed by sunshine.

Best Time to Visit

Peak Season (September to May): This period captures the essence of Lord Howe Island’s beauty, offering warm weather perfect for exploring the island’s outdoor attractions, from hiking Mount Gower to snorkeling in the lagoon’s crystal-clear waters. The sea temperatures are inviting, and the visibility underwater is at its best, ideal for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

Birdwatching Season (Spring and Autumn): For nature lovers and birdwatchers, visiting during the spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May) can be particularly rewarding. These seasons witness the migratory patterns of various bird species, adding a vibrant spectacle to the island’s already rich biodiversity.

Hiking and Outdoor Activities (Spring and Autumn): The milder temperatures of spring and autumn make these seasons perfect for hiking and exploring the island’s trails without the summer’s warmer conditions. The island’s flora is in full bloom during spring, while autumn offers a tranquil ambiance with fewer visitors.

Quiet Season (June to August): Those seeking solitude and a retreat from the crowds might find the winter months appealing. Although cooler, the weather remains pleasant for most outdoor activities, and the island exudes a peaceful charm with its quieter, more reflective atmosphere.

Regardless of when you decide to visit, Lord Howe Island’s policy of limiting tourist numbers to preserve its pristine environment ensures a unique and uncrowded experience.

This policy not only protects the island’s delicate ecosystems but also enhances the quality of your visit, making every moment on the island truly special.

Top Attractions on Lord Howe Island

lord howe island

Lord Howe Island, a paradisiacal destination, beckons travelers with its unparalleled natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes.

Among its many allurements, some stand out as must-visit attractions, offering experiences that are as diverse as they are memorable.

Here’s a closer look at the top attractions that make Lord Howe Island a truly unique place to explore.

The Lagoon and Reef

The heart of Lord Howe Island’s natural beauty lies in its stunning lagoon and the surrounding reef system.

This UNESCO World Heritage-listed marine park boasts crystal-clear waters that are home to an astonishing variety of marine life and coral formations.

Snorkeling and scuba diving here offer up-close encounters with vibrant coral gardens, over 500 species of fish, and an array of marine fauna, including turtles and reef sharks.

The lagoon’s sheltered waters provide a safe and mesmerizing underwater experience for all skill levels.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Experiences

Diving into the waters of Lord Howe Island reveals a world teeming with life and color.

The island’s unique geographical location, at the crossroads of five major ocean currents, enriches its waters with an extraordinary diversity of marine species.

Divers and snorkelers can marvel at the intricate coral ecosystems and the myriad of creatures that call them home, making every dive an unforgettable adventure.

Mount Gower Hike

The Mount Gower hike is a challenging yet rewarding experience, offering one of the most spectacular views on Lord Howe Island.

Rated as one of the world’s best day hikes, this 8-hour guided trek takes adventurers through ancient subtropical forests to the summit of Mount Gower.

The hike is demanding, with a difficulty level that requires good physical fitness, but the reward at the top is unparalleled: panoramic views of the island and a close encounter with its endemic flora and fauna, including the rare Lord Howe Island woodhen.

Ned’s Beach

Ned’s Beach is a serene spot that allows visitors to experience the island’s natural beauty and marine biodiversity effortlessly.

Here, you can feed fish by hand in the shallows, with mullet, wrasse, and garfish swimming right up to the shore.

The beach is also equipped with snorkeling gear for rent, inviting visitors to explore the vibrant underwater life just a few meters from the beach.

The clear waters and abundant marine life make Ned’s Beach a perfect spot for families and first-time snorkelers.

The Old Settlement and East Coast Beaches

The Old Settlement area offers a glimpse into the island’s history, with its charming cottages and verdant gardens.

The east coast beaches, with their pristine sands and turquoise waters, are ideal for leisurely walks, photography, and soaking in the tranquil beauty of the island.

These areas provide a peaceful retreat where visitors can unwind and enjoy the slow pace of island life, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.

Each of these attractions captures a different facet of Lord Howe Island’s allure, from its rich marine ecosystems to its rugged mountain peaks and peaceful beaches.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a chance to connect with nature, Lord Howe Island offers an array of experiences that promise to make your visit truly unforgettable.

Adventure and Activities

australia lord howe island

Lord Howe Island is not just a haven for serene beauty and relaxation; it’s also a playground for adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

The island’s unique landscape and rich biodiversity offer a plethora of activities and adventures, from exhilarating water sports to insightful conservation programs.

Whether you’re looking to explore the depths of the ocean, paddle in the tranquil waters, or contribute to the island’s preservation, there’s something for everyone.

Guided Tours

Embarking on guided tours on Lord Howe Island opens up a world of discovery and adventure. Local guides offer deep insights into the island’s natural wonders, history, and culture.

  • Bird Watching Tours: With over 130 recorded bird species, including endemic and migratory birds, the island is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Guided tours take you to remote spots to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Fishing Trips: The surrounding waters are teeming with a variety of fish species, making Lord Howe Island a premier fishing destination. Guided fishing trips can take you to the best spots for a chance to catch everything from Kingfish to Tuna.
  • Marine Explorations: Dive tours and glass-bottom boat trips offer a glimpse into the vibrant underwater life around the coral reef. These guided excursions are perfect for those looking to learn more about marine biodiversity and the island’s unique marine ecosystems.

Outdoor Activities

For those who love to stay active and immerse themselves in nature, Lord Howe Island offers a myriad of outdoor activities.

  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: The calm, clear waters of the lagoon are perfect for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Glide over coral reefs and explore secluded beaches at your own pace.
  • Surfing: With its pristine beaches and clear waters, the island offers great surf spots for both beginners and experienced surfers. The reef breaks promise an exhilarating surfing experience.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a wonderful way to explore the island’s scenic beauty. With little to no car traffic, the island’s roads and tracks offer a safe and enjoyable cycling experience, allowing you to discover hidden spots and breathtaking views.

Conservation Efforts

Lord Howe Island’s commitment to conservation is evident in its well-preserved ecosystems and the active role visitors can play in its environmental initiatives.

  • Participation in Local Conservation Programs: Visitors have the opportunity to participate in conservation programs, such as beach clean-ups and native vegetation planting. These efforts contribute to the preservation of the island’s natural beauty and biodiversity.
  • Learning About the Island’s Ecosystems: Educational tours and talks by conservation experts offer insights into the island’s unique ecosystems, endangered species, and the efforts being made to protect them. These experiences not only enrich your visit but also foster a deeper appreciation for nature and the importance of conservation.

Culinary Experience

lord howe island seafood

Lord Howe Island presents a culinary scene as unique and enchanting as its natural landscape.

Here, the emphasis is on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, with the island’s surrounding waters providing a bounty of seafood, and local gardens offering fresh produce.

This fusion of natural resources gives rise to an exquisite dining experience that ranges from casual beach picnics to sophisticated cuisine in high-end restaurants.

Fresh Seafood and Local Produce

The culinary offerings on Lord Howe Island are a testament to the island’s rich natural resources.

The surrounding clean Pacific waters are a source of superb seafood, including kingfish, yellowfin tuna, and the local delicacy, the Lord Howe Island woodhen.

Additionally, the fertile volcanic soil supports a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, ensuring that dishes are adorned with the freshest of ingredients.

This commitment to fresh, local produce not only elevates the dining experience but also supports sustainable practices and the local economy.

Unique Dining Experiences

The island’s culinary scene is as diverse as its landscape, offering a variety of dining experiences that cater to every taste and occasion.

  • Beach Picnics: For a casual yet unforgettable dining experience, nothing beats a beach picnic. Many local cafes and restaurants offer picnic hampers filled with gourmet treats, allowing you to enjoy a delicious meal with your toes in the sand, surrounded by the island’s breathtaking beauty.
  • High-End Restaurants: Those seeking a more sophisticated dining experience will find several high-end restaurants on the island. These establishments specialize in creating exquisite dishes that highlight the island’s seafood and produce, complemented by world-class wines. The ambience of these restaurants, combined with the stunning natural backdrop, makes for an unforgettable dining experience.
  • Outdoor Barbecues: Embracing the island’s laid-back lifestyle, outdoor barbecues are a popular dining option. Many accommodations provide barbecue facilities, allowing guests to cook their own meals under the stars. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the island’s fresh seafood and produce while socializing with fellow travelers.
  • Cafes and Eateries: For a quick bite or a leisurely meal, the island’s cafes and eateries offer a range of options, from fresh salads and sandwiches to seafood platters. Many of these spots boast outdoor seating, inviting diners to enjoy their meals with views of the island’s stunning scenery.

Accommodation Options

lord howe island hotel

Lord Howe Island offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different preferences and budgets, all while maintaining the island’s ethos of intimacy, sustainability, and harmony with nature.

From luxurious resorts that offer every conceivable comfort to cozy, family-run lodges that promise a home away from home, visitors can choose the perfect setting for their island getaway.

Regardless of where you stay, the common thread is the commitment to eco-friendly practices and the preservation of the island’s pristine environment.

Types of Accommodations Available

  • Luxury Resorts: For those seeking a touch of luxury in their island retreat, Lord Howe Island’s luxury resorts offer exquisite accommodations, fine dining, and exceptional service. These resorts often boast stunning locations, with direct beach access or panoramic views of the lagoon and mountains. Amenities may include spa services, guided tours, and gourmet restaurants, ensuring a stay that is as relaxing as it is indulgent.
  • Boutique Hotels and Lodges: Boutique hotels and lodges on the island provide a more intimate experience. With fewer rooms than larger resorts, these accommodations offer personalized service and a cozy atmosphere. Many are family-run, offering guests a unique insight into island life. Rooms and suites are designed to blend with the natural surroundings, often featuring local timber and offering spectacular views.
  • Self-Contained Apartments and Cottages: For visitors seeking independence and privacy, self-contained apartments and cottages are an excellent choice. These accommodations come fully equipped with kitchen facilities, allowing guests to prepare their own meals with local produce and seafood. Many have outdoor areas for dining and relaxation, embracing the island’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
  • Eco-friendly Retreats: Eco-retreats on Lord Howe Island are designed for those who wish to immerse themselves fully in nature. These retreats prioritize sustainability, with eco-friendly construction, solar power, and rainwater harvesting. Situated in secluded spots, they offer peace and privacy, often with direct access to walking trails and natural attractions.

Intimacy and Eco-Friendliness

Accommodations on Lord Howe Island are characterized by their small scale and low impact on the environment.

With a strict cap on visitor numbers, accommodations are designed to offer an intimate experience, ensuring that guests can enjoy the island’s beauty without crowds.

Eco-friendly practices are the norm, with many establishments utilizing renewable energy, organic produce, and water-saving measures.

This commitment to sustainability not only protects the island’s ecosystems but also enhances the visitor experience, offering a stay that is in harmony with the natural world.

Choosing where to stay on Lord Howe Island is an opportunity to select an accommodation that not only suits your preferences but also aligns with the island’s ethos of environmental stewardship and community.

Whether you’re nestled in a luxury resort, a charming lodge, or a secluded eco-retreat, your stay on Lord Howe Island will be marked by breathtaking natural beauty, warm hospitality, and a profound respect for the environment.

Travel Tips for Lord Howe Island

lord howe island mountain

Visiting Lord Howe Island is a unique experience, largely due to its remote location, pristine environment, and the sustainable practices that protect its beauty and biodiversity.

To ensure that your visit is as enjoyable and respectful as possible, here are some essential travel tips, including what to pack, how to adhere to local regulations, and ways to embrace the island’s commitment to sustainability.

Packing Essentials

  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Protect yourself and the marine environment by using sunscreen that is free from harmful chemicals.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: With numerous trails ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, sturdy footwear is a must.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Weather can be unpredictable; a waterproof jacket will keep you dry during sudden showers.
  • Snorkeling Gear: Although available for rent, bringing your own snorkeling gear ensures a perfect fit and more opportunities to explore the underwater world.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while reducing plastic waste by carrying a reusable water bottle.

Respecting Local Regulations and Sustainability Practices

  • Limit Waste: Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your environmental impact. Use recycling facilities and avoid single-use plastics.
  • Conserve Water: With the island’s freshwater resources limited, be mindful of your water usage, especially when showering and washing dishes.
  • Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, both on land and in water. Feeding animals, including fish, can disrupt their natural behaviors and diet.
  • Adhere to Pathways: When hiking or exploring, stick to marked pathways to protect native plants and prevent erosion.

Embracing the Island’s No-Mobile-Network Charm

Lord Howe Island offers a rare opportunity to disconnect from digital distractions and reconnect with nature. With no mobile phone reception in most areas, visitors can enjoy a true digital detox.

  • Prepare for Limited Connectivity: Inform family and friends of your limited availability. Most accommodations provide Wi-Fi, but it’s a chance to minimize digital use.
  • Bring Books and Games: Replace screen time with activities that don’t require an internet connection, like reading or playing board games.
  • Engage with the Community: Without the constant call of mobile phones, engage more deeply with fellow travelers and locals, enriching your travel experience.
  • Enjoy the Present Moment: Freed from digital distractions, you’ll find more time to appreciate the island’s stunning landscapes, observe its wildlife, and simply relax in its serene environment.


Lord Howe Island stands as a beacon of natural beauty, exclusivity, and adventure, offering a travel experience unlike any other.

This UNESCO World Heritage-listed paradise combines breathtaking landscapes, rich biodiversity, and a commitment to sustainability that ensures its pristine condition for generations to come.

From its crystal-clear lagoon and vibrant coral reefs to the challenging peaks of Mount Gower, the island offers a diverse range of activities that cater to both the adventurous soul and those seeking tranquility.

The exclusivity of Lord Howe Island is one of its most compelling features, with visitor numbers strictly limited to protect its delicate ecosystems.

This policy not only preserves the island’s natural beauty but also enhances the visitor experience, allowing for intimate encounters with nature and a genuine sense of discovery.

Whether you’re snorkeling among vibrant marine life, hiking through ancient forests, or simply enjoying the peace of a secluded beach, Lord Howe Island offers an escape to a world where nature reigns supreme.

As you plan your visit to Lord Howe Island, it’s essential to do so with mindfulness and respect for the island’s capacity limits and conservation efforts.

Booking in advance is recommended to secure your spot in this haven of natural beauty.

Embrace the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature, indulging in the island’s array of outdoor activities, culinary delights, and the warm hospitality of its community.

lord howe island golf course

FAQ’s About Lord Howe Island:

Why is Lord Howe Island so expensive?

Lord Howe Island is known for its exclusivity, pristine natural beauty, and limited tourism capacity, which contribute to its higher cost.

The island limits the number of visitors to around 400 at any time to preserve its delicate ecosystems.

This restriction ensures a unique, uncrowded experience but also means accommodation and services can charge premium rates due to the high demand and limited supply.

Additionally, the remote location increases transportation and logistics costs for goods and supplies, contributing to higher prices for food, accommodation, and activities.

Can anyone live on Lord Howe Island?

Living on Lord Howe Island is subject to strict regulations due to its World Heritage status and the desire to maintain its ecological integrity.

Permanent residency is generally limited to those who already have long-standing familial or economic ties to the island.

There are stringent restrictions on land ownership and housing, primarily aimed at preserving the local community and environment.

This means that moving to Lord Howe Island without existing connections can be challenging.

What is the best time of year to go to Lord Howe Island?

The best time to visit Lord Howe Island is during the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) months.

These periods offer pleasant weather, with temperatures comfortable for outdoor activities and the sea warm enough for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

The island’s flora and fauna are particularly vibrant during these times, with bird migrations in the spring and a tranquil atmosphere in the autumn.

However, Lord Howe Island’s climate is mild year-round, making it a great destination at any time.

How many days do you need for Lord Howe Island?

A stay of around 5 to 7 days is recommended to fully experience Lord Howe Island.

This allows enough time to explore key attractions, such as Mount Gower, Ned’s Beach, and the lagoon, participate in activities like hiking, snorkeling, and bird watching, and still have leisure time to relax and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.

Longer stays enable deeper exploration and a more immersive experience into the island’s relaxed pace of life.

Do you need a car on Lord Howe Island?

No, you do not need a car on Lord Howe Island. The island is relatively small, with many places of interest within walking or cycling distance.

Bicycles are a popular mode of transport and are available for hire, offering a great way to explore the island at your own pace.

For longer distances, there are limited vehicles for hire and shuttle services provided by accommodation venues to and from key locations like restaurants and hiking trailheads.

Do mobile phones work on Lord Howe Island?

Mobile phone reception on Lord Howe Island is limited and primarily available through a single provider, Telstra. Coverage can be spotty and is generally restricted to certain areas around the settlement.

Many visitors find the limited mobile connectivity an opportunity for a digital detox.

For those needing to stay in touch, landline phones and internet services are available at accommodations and some public areas.

How long is the ferry ride to Lord Howe Island?

There is no ferry service to Lord Howe Island due to its remote location in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 600 kilometers east of the Australian mainland.

Access to the island is primarily by air, with flights available from Sydney, Brisbane, and Port Macquarie.

The flight duration from Sydney is approximately 2 hours, making it the most practical and time-efficient way to reach the island.

lord howe island landscape

(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate.Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions.He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

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